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Jun 1, 2011 08:23 PM


I know it's popular amongest chowhnds but, after this article today, I'm rethinking another option for my b-day brunch next Sun. What suggestions have you? Westside preferred.
(I always have to modify for Gluten and Dairy free


1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

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    1. If you are interested in still going, Call and talk to the chef (or Cd cuisine, sous ect) off peak hours. Let them know you have a reservation and could they provide some Gluten/Dairy free options. That way they have a little time to plan something or if they can't accommodate you at least you know.

      It's a much better idea than springing it on the kitchen at the last minute, as a matter of course you should do this upon making any reservation at a good restaurant.. I think you will have a better experience

      1. It looks as if there are things you can eat without modifying. Which do you want to do more, eat or modify?

        I mean, they couldn't be any more clear: "changes & modifications politely declined."

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jay F

          Kudos to the restaurant for sticking to heir policy, celebrity or not, or celebrity by association or not. Besides, she probably didn't understand the concept of no modifications, all the silicone she carries.

          1. re: fkingford

            normally i am the queen of modifications.
            the food at gjelina, though, tastes so good to me that i wouldn't even want to modify anything about it. . . . .

        2. We recently had a wonderful meal at the Tasting Kitchen next door. We got the chef's tasting menu, which was basically almost every entree on the menu, and was asked by our waiter if they were any dietary requests or omissions. We explained the couple we were with did not eat fish or seafood, and they generously served us the salmon dish, and brought more pork & vegetarian dishes out. BTW, they also clearly state at the bottom of their menu : "Please: no substitutions/modifications/omissions of any kind to our food." So obviously, they can be flexible.

          My recommendation is to skip Gjelina and head to Tasting Kitchen.

          Tasting Kitchen
          1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291

          2 Replies
          1. re: Phurstluv

            I think you are comparing apples to oranges. In the case of Gjelina they refused to do changes to a certain dish (which I personally agree with), in your case you didn't want to have a specific dish modified but wanted other dishes instead of a fish dish which I am sure Gjelina would also have agreed to in the same situation. I doubt Tasting Kitchen would have agreed to for example modify the salmon dish in such a way that that it doesn't had an fish anymore.

            1. re: honkman

              That is possibly true. I was just giving the OP another option and information. Since OP has dietary issues, it seemed relevant to know that another incredible place in the same area may be a better choice. Plus it illustrated the restaurant's willingness to be flexible, which actually wasn't the first incident of this particular situation. The waiter was asked if we could get the wings in the tasting, but not the fish or seafood. So, for all we knew, we were asking the chef for omissions and substitutions. But they worked with us without a second glance. We also returned a bottle of wine and then asked for glasses of the recommended one (after finishing a bottle of it, it was so delicious, one bottle just wasn't enough) and the waiter didn't flinch or blink an eye, and it was a wonderful, festive and pleasant experience which makes us want to go back there and bring more family and friends. So, I wouldn't be so sure that the restaurant and it's staff would be so quick to dis any customers, celebrity or not. I think if they are smart, they find the best and easiest way to provide a mutual benefit, or at least give the customer a great experience.

          2. How do you pronounce "Gjelina"?

            6 Replies
            1. re: Jay F

              I say it like the J sound in justice and then "leen-a"

                1. re: wienermobile

                  Thank you both, wiener and Servorg. That was my guess, but since I don't live in LA, I don't hear people talking about the place.

                  1. re: Jay F

                    I still mispronounce it, jeh-lay-nuh, all the time, and folks still know where I'm talking of. I hope you get a chance to give them whirl some time. I'm a dedicated omnivore, but their vegetable dishes are so good, I'd have no issues becoming a vegetarian if I could do the same in my kitchen.

                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      It all looks so wonderful. From today's menu, I'd like to try the red snapper menu crudo and the pan-seared scallops. (I'm omnivore, too, leaning strongly towards pescetarian).

              1. re: Jay F

                The word is actually a woman's name used by Kosovo Albanians. If the restaurant's name is linked to that then the silent G pronunciation is the nearest a non Albanian can get to the actual sound (gj in Albanian alphabet is a letter on its own).